Category: Genocide


 

 

 

1987 photo of Mark 149 Mod 2 20mm depleted uranium ammunition for the Phalanx CIWS aboard USS Missouri (BB-63).

1987 photo of Mark 149 Mod 2 20mm depleted uranium ammunition for the Phalanx CIWS aboard USS Missouri (BB-63).

Gunner’s mates inspect linked belts of Mark 149 Mod 2 20mm ammunition before loading it into the magazine of a Mark 16 Phalanx close-in weapons system aboard the battleship USS MISSOURI (BB-63). (Uploader’s note, those are probably Firecontrolman, the maintainers of Phalanx, not Gunners mates.)

ID:DNST9400420

Service Depicted: Navy
Camera Operator: PHAN BRAD DILLON

Wkimedia.org

Depleted Environment, Depleted Lives

Uranium Weapons Still Making Money, Wreaking Havoc

by JOHN LAFORGE

The US Army has awarded General Dynamics a $12 million contract to deconstruct and dispose of 78,000 depleted uranium anti-tank shells. The Pentagon’s May 6 announcement calls for “demilitarization” of the aging shells, as newer depleted uranium rounds are added to the US arsenal.

In the perpetually profitable business of war production, General Dynamics originally produced and sold some of the 120-millimeter anti-tank rounds to the Army. One of the richest weapons builders on earth, General Dynamics has 95,000 employees and sells its wares in 40 countries on six continents.

The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons in Manchester, England, reports the armor-piercing shells to be disassembled are thought to be the large 105-millimeter and 120-millimeter anti-tank rounds.

Depleted uranium, or DU, weapons are made of extremely dense uranium-238. More than 700,000 tons of DU has been left as waste in the US alone from the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear reactor fuel rods. The urankum-238 is left when fissionable uranium-235 is separated for H-bombs and reactor fuel. DU is only ‘depleted’ of this U-235. It is still a radioactive and toxic heavy metal. A tax and ecological liability, DU is given away free to weapons builders.

 

Read More Here

 

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NYU EDU

Sources

Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the enriching of natural uranium for use in nuclear reactors. When most of the fissile radioactive isotopes of uranium are removed from natural uranium, the residue is called depleted uranium. A less common source of the material is reprocessed spent reactor fuel. The origin can be distinguished by the content of uranium-236,[1] produced by neutron capture from uranium-235 in nuclear reactors.

As a toxic and radioactive waste product that requires long term storage as low level nuclear waste, depleted uranium is costly to keep but relatively inexpensive to obtain. Generally the only real costs are those associated with conversion of UF6 to metal. It is extremely dense, 67% denser than lead, only slightly less than tungsten and gold, and just 16% less dense than osmium or iridium, the densest naturally occurring substances known. Its low cost makes it attractive for a variety of uses. However, the material is prone to corrosion and small particles are pyrophoric. [2]

History

Depleted uranium was first stored in stockpiles in the 1940s when the U.S. and USSR began their nuclear weapons and nuclear power programs. While it is possible to design civilian power reactors with unenriched fuel, only about 10% of reactors ever built utilize that technology, and both nuclear weapons production and naval reactors require the concentrated isotope. Originally, DU was conserved in the hope that more efficient enrichment techniques would allow further extraction of the fissile isotope; however, those hopes have not materialized.

In the 1970s, The Pentagon reported that the Soviet military had developed armor plating for Warsaw Pact tanks that NATO ammunition couldn’t penetrate. The Pentagon began searching for material to make denser bullets. After testing various metals, ordnance researchers settled on depleted uranium. DU was useful in ammunition not only because of its unique physical properties and effectiveness, but also because it was cheap and readily available. Tungsten, the only other candidate, had to be sourced from China. With DU stockpiles estimated to be more than 500,000 tons, the financial burden of housing this amount of low-level radioactive waste was very apparent. It was therefore more economical to use depleted uranium rather than storing it. Thus, from the late 1970s, the U.S., the Soviet Union, Britain and France, began converting their stockpiles of depleted uranium into kinetic energy penetrators.

Photographic evidence of destroyed equipment suggests that DU was first used during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Various written reports cite information that was obtained as a consequence of that use.[1]

However, while clearing the decades-old Hawaii Stryker firing range, workers have found chemical weapons from World War I era and depleted uranium ammunition from the 1960s [3].

The U.S. military used DU shells in the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War (Associated Press, August 12, 2006, free archived copy at: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0812-06.htm most recently visited November 1, 2006).

Production and availability

Natural uranium metal contains about 0.71% U-235, 99.28% U-238, and about 0.0054% U-234. In order to produce enriched uranium, the process of isotope separation removes a substantial portion of the U-235 for use in nuclear power, weapons, or other uses. The remainder, depleted uranium, contains only 0.2% to 0.4% U-235. Because natural uranium begins with such a low percentage of U-235, the enrichment process produces large quantities of depleted uranium. For example, producing 1 kg of 5% enriched uranium requires 11.8 kg of natural uranium, and leaves about 10.8 kg of depleted uranium with only 0.3% U-235 remaining.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) defines depleted uranium as uranium with a percentage of the 235U isotope that is less than 0.711% by weight (See 10 CFR 40.4.) The military specifications designate that the DU used by DoD contain less than 0.3% 235U (AEPI, 1995). In actuality, DoD uses only DU that contains approximately 0.2% 235U (AEPI, 1995).

 


Depleted Uranium Stocks as of end of 1999
Holder Country Approximate DU Stocks [t U]
as UF6 as U3O8 as metal TOTAL
DOE external link, USEC external link USA a) 470,000 10,000 480,000
Russia b) 450,000 10,000 460,000
COGEMA external link, EURODIF France 50,000 140,000 190,000
BNFL external link United Kingdom 30,000 30,000
Urenco external link Germany, Netherlands, UK 16,000 16,000
JNC external link, JNFL external link Japan c) 10,000 10,000
CNNC external link China d) 2,000 2,000
KAERI external link Rep. of Korea 200 200
South Africa 4 69 73
TOTAL 1,028,204 160,069 1,188,273

t = metric tonne
a) As of mid-2000. See also: Compostion of the U.S. DOE Depleted Uranium Inventory (70k PDF).
For more recent and detailed data, download Inventory of depleted uranium tails, Oct. 2, 2007 external link (PDF – U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce)
b) Estimate based on: Depleted Uranium from Enrichment, Uranium Institute, London 1996
c) As of February 2001
d) As of end of 2000
Source: OECD NEA 2001

Source: WISE Uranium Project

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 P R O G R E S S I V E  R E V I E W

Depleted uranium
Recycling death
 

URANIUM MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER

 

NEW YORK TOWN PROVIDES EVIDENCE OF TRUE DANGER OF DEPLETED URANIUM 

Parrish’s team has found that DU contamination, which remains radioactive for millions of years, is in effect impossible to eradicate, not only from the environment but also from the bodies of humans. Twenty-three years after production ceased they tested the urine of five former workers. All are still contaminated with DU. So were 20 per cent of people tested who had spent at least 10 years living near the factory when it was still working. . .

MORE DAMAGE FROM DEPLETED URANIUM FOUND

GUARDIAN, UK – Depleted uranium, which is used in armor-piercing ammunition, causes widespread damage to DNA which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal’s effects on human lung cells. The study adds to growing evidence that DU causes health problems on battlefields long after hostilities have ceased.0508 05 1DU is a byproduct of uranium refinement for nuclear power. It is much less radioactive than other uranium isotopes, and its high density – twice that of lead – makes it useful for armor and armor piercing shells. It has been used in conflicts including Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq and there have been increasing concerns about the health effects of DU dust left on the battlefield. In November, the Ministry of Defense was forced to counteract claims that apparent increases in cancers and birth defects among Iraqis in southern Iraq were due to DU in weapons.

Now researchers at the University of Southern Maine have shown that DU damages DNA in human lung cells. The team, led by John Pierce Wise, exposed cultures of the cells to uranium compounds at different concentrations. The compounds caused breaks in the chromosomes within cells and stopped them from growing and dividing healthily. “These data suggest that exposure to particulate DU may pose a significant [DNA damage] risk and could possibly result in lung cancer,” the team wrote in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. . . Prof Wise said it is too early to say whether DU causes lung cancer in people exposed on the battlefield because the disease takes several decades to develop.
“Our data suggest that it should be monitored as the potential risk is there,” he said.

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/08/1059/

DEPLETED URANIUM BACK IN THE NEWS

AUDREY PARENTE, DAYTONA BEACH HERALD, FL – Lori Brim cradled her son in her arms for three months before he died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Dustin Brim, a 22-year-old Army specialist had collapsed three years ago in Iraq from a very aggressive cancer that attacked his kidney, caused a mass to grow over his esophagus and collapsed a lung. The problems she saw during her time at Walter Reed, including her son screaming in pain while doctors argued over medications, had nothing to do with mold and shabby conditions documented in recent news reports. What this mother saw was an unexplainable illness consuming her son.

And what she has learned since her son’s death is that his was not an isolated case. Lori Brim has joined other parents, hundreds of other sick soldiers, legislators, research scientists and environmental activists who say the cause of their problems results from exposure to depleted uranium, a radioactive metal used in the manufacture of U.S. tank armor and weapon casings.

Health and environmental effects of depleted uranium are at the heart of scientific studies, a lawsuit in the New York courts and legislative bills in more than a dozen states (although not in Florida). . .

Despite a 1996 U.N. resolution opposing its use because of discovery of health problems after the first Gulf War, the military studies have concluded there was no evidence that exposure to the metal caused illnesses. . .

To the military, the effectiveness of weapons and armor made with depleted uranium outweighs any residual effects. Their bottom line: Depleted uranium saves soldiers’ lives in combat. . .

But Brim and others think there will not be enough known until soldiers are tested for exposure. They compare the debate over depleted uranium to the controversy surrounding Agent Orange, the toxic herbicide used to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam. Speculation over its effects continued for more than two decades before the Defense Department agreed to compensate veterans who suffered from ailments linked to its use. . .

http://www.news-journalonline.com/special/uranium/DUFOLO041507.htm

CANADIAN REPORT: U.S. USE OF DEPLETED URANIUM RAISED RADIOACTIVITY 300 TIMES

MNA – Canadian research centers have reported that during the war against Iraq the U.S. military used depleted uranium weapons which caused the radiation level to rise at least 300 times above normal, and the weapons caused similar effects in Afghanistan.

U.S. troops have recently begun removing contaminated topsoil in Iraq, taking it to an unknown location. Scientists believe the next generation of children of citizens of both countries exposed to DU will suffer from higher rates of birth defects and cancer.

The Uranium Medical Research Center issued a report based on a 13-day survey throughout the primary conflict zones in urban and rural areas of central and southern Iraq on October 2003, according to Risq News. . .

The most disturbing circumstance was observed in the U.S. occupied base in southwestern Baghdad in the Auweirj district. It is close to the international airport and hosts one of the largest coalition bases around Baghdad, occupying the operational headquarters of the Iraqi Special Republican Guard. . . Departing the coalition-occupied base was a long, a steady stream of tandem-axle dump trucks carrying full loads of sand, heading south away from the city. Returning from the south was a second stream of fully loaded dump trucks waiting to enter the base. As the team passed the base’s main entrance, the gates were opened to reveal bulldozers spreading soil while front-end loaders were filling the trucks that had just emptied their loads of soil (silt and sand). The arriving trucks were delivering loads of sand into the base while the departing trucks were hauling away the base’s topsoil.

DEPLETED URANIUM FOUND IN TROOPS

JUAN GONZALEZ, NY DAILY NEWS – Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are contaminated with radiation likely caused by dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops, a Daily News investigation has found. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah. . . A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four “almost certainly” inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium. Laboratory tests conducted at the request of The News revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

 

CARD GIVEN BRITISH TROOPS IN IRAQ 

 


NOTE: THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE WEB PAGE HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN 

 

BRITISH ISSUE DEPLETED URANIUM WARNING CARDS TO ITS TROOPS IN IRAQ 

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SUPPRESSED STUDY ON DEPLETED URANIUM

ROB EDWARDS, SUNDAY HERALD, UK – An expert report warning that the long-term health of Iraq’s civilian population would be endangered by British and US depleted uranium weapons has been kept secret. The study by three leading radiation scientists cautioned that children and adults could contract cancer after breathing in dust containing DU, which is radioactive and chemically toxic. But it was blocked from publication by the World Health Organisation, which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed, though this is denied by WHO.

Baverstock also believes that if the study had been published when it was completed in 2001, there would have been more pressure on the US and UK to limit their use of DU weapons in last year’s war, and to clean up afterwards. Hundreds of thousands of DU shells were fired by coalition tanks and planes during the conflict, and there has been no comprehensive decontamination. Experts from the United Nations Environment Program have so far not been allowed into Iraq to assess the pollution.

U.S. LEFT 75 TONS OF DEPLETED URANIUM TO POLLUTE IRAQ

U.S. FORCES UNLEASHED at least 75 tons of toxic depleted uranium on Iraq during the war, reports the Christian Science Monitor. An unnamed U.S. Central Command spokesman disclosed to the Monitor last week that coalition forces fired 300,000 bullets coated with armored-piercing depleted uranium during the war. “The normal combat mix for these 30-mm rounds is five DU bullets to 1 — a mix that would have left about 75 tons of DU in Iraq,” wrote correspondent Scott Peterson. Peterson measured four sites around Baghdad struck with depleted uranium munitions and found high levels of radioactive contamination, but few warnings to this effect issued among the populace at large. While the Pentagon maintains that spent weapons coated with the low-level, radioactive nuclear-waste are relatively harmless, Peterson notes that U.S. soldiers have taken it among themselves to print leaflets or post signs warning of DU contamination. “After we shoot something with DU, we’re not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer,” said one sergeant requesting anonymity.

DEPLETED URANIUM

PAUL KRASSNER, NY METRO – The officer came around a row of missiles, and Ethan asked him the question he had for him about his TAD request, and then asked him, “What the hell kind of missiles are these?”

“Those aren’t missiles; they’re cobalt jackets.”

“What are they for?”

“Well, this is ‘need to know,’ so keep your mouth shut, but they are designed to slide on over most of our conventional ordinance. They’re made out of radioactive cobalt, and when the bomb they’re wrapped around detonates, they contaminate everything in the blast zone and quite a bit beyond.”

“So they turn regular ordinance into nukes?”

“No, not exactly. The cobalt doesn’t detonate itself. It just scatters everywhere.”

“Well, what? Does the radiation kill people?”

“Not immediately. Cobalt jackets will not likely ever be used. They’re for a situation where the U.S. government is crumbling during a time of war, and foreign takeover is imminent. We won’t capitulate. We basically have a scorched earth policy. If we are going to lose, we arm everything with cobalt ­ and I mean everything; we have jackets at nearly every missile magazine in the world, on land or at sea ­ and contaminate the world. If we can’t have it, nobody can. . .

I emailed the anecdote to no-nukes activist Harvey Wasserman, author of The Last Energy War and co-author of The Superpower of Peace. I asked him to comment in a couple of hundred words:

“This nightmare has now essentially come true with the use of depleted uranium on anti-tank and other shells in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. The military rationale is that the super-hard depleted uranium helps shells penetrate tanks and other hard structures. But the long-term effect is that the uranium vaporizes upon explosion and contaminates everything for hundreds of yards, if not miles.”

STUDY FINDS DEPLETED URANIUM USED IN AFGHANISTAN

IRAQI CITIES HOT WITH DEPLETED URANIUM

SARA FLOUNDERS, COASTAL POST, CA – In hot spots in downtown Baghdad, reporters have measured radiation levels that are 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal background radiation levels. It has also opened a debate in the Netherlands parliament and media as 1,100 Dutch troops in Kuwait prepare to enter Iraq as part of the U.S./British-led occupation forces. The Dutch are concerned about the danger of radioactive poisoning and radiation sickness in Iraq. Washington has assured the Dutch government that it used no DU weapons near Al-Samawah, the town where Dutch troops will be stationed. But Dutch journalists and anti-war forces have already found holes in the U.S. stories, according to an article on the Radio Free Europe website. . .

In this year’s war on Iraq, the Pentagon used its radioactive arsenal mainly in the urban centers, rather than in desert battlefields as in 1991. Many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people and U.S. soldiers, along with British, Polish, Japanese and Dutch soldiers sent to join the occupation, will suffer the consequences. The real extent of injuries, chronic illness, long-term disabilities and genetic birth defects won’t be apparent for five to 10 years.

By now, half of all the 697,000 U.S. soldiers involved in the 1991 war have reported serious illnesses. According to the American Gulf War Veterans Association, more than 30 percent of these soldiers are chronically ill and are receiving disability benefits from the Veterans Administration. Such a high occurrence of various symptoms has led to the illnesses being named Gulf War Syndrome.

DEPLETED URANIUM: DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL

JAY SHAFT, COALITION FOR FREE THOUGHT IN MEDIA – In three separate interviews a U.S. Special Operations Command Colonel admitted that the U.S. and Great Britain fired 500 tons of DU munitions into Iraq. He has also informed me that the GBU-28 BLU 113 Penetrator Bunker Buster 5000 pound bomb contains DU in the warhead. Until now, as far as I know, the materials used to make the warhead of the GBU-28 have remained shrouded in mystery. He admitted that privately the Pentagon has acknowledged the health hazards of DU for years. . .

J.S.: What about the cities? Did you deliberately use DU on them?

U.S.C.: Let’s just say that we didn’t do anything to avoid using DU in cities or heavily populated areas. I know that I selected some DU bunker busters because of the fact that they have a high penetration factor. I used DU weapons exclusively on some targets so as to ensure maximum damage on those targets. You don’t want to just halfway destroy some targets, you want maximum damage. . .

J.S.: What about the health risks that are associated with DU? Or do you deny there are any?

U.S.C.: You are determined to get me to make a statement about the health risks aren’t you?

J.S.: If you will, I want to see what the behind the scenes view of DU is in the Pentagon.

U.S.C.: Well. . . (long pause, followed by heavy profanity). . . Okay, I’ll give you some dirt if that’s what you’re looking for. The Pentagon knows there are huge health risks associated with DU They know from years of monitoring our own test ranges and manufacturing facilities.

There were parts of Iraq designated as high contamination areas before we ever placed any troops on the ground. The areas around Basra, Jalibah, Talil, most of the southern desert, and various other hot spots were all identified as contaminated before the war. Some of the areas in the southern desert region along the Kuwaiti border are especially radioactive on scans and tests.
One of our test ranges in Saudi Arabia shows over 1000 times the normal background level for radiation. We have test ranges in the U.S. that are extremely contaminated; hell, they have been since the 80’s and nothing is ever said publicly. Don’t ask don’t tell is not only applied to gays, it is applied to this matter very heavily.

I know at one time the theory was developed that any soldier exposed to DU shells should have to wear full MOP gear (the chemical protective suit). But they realized that just wouldn’t be practical and it was never openly discussed again.

J.S.: So the stories that they know DU is harmful are true?

U.S.C.: Yes, there is no doubt that most high level commanders who were around during the 80’s know about it.

J.S.: So how do you feel about the fact that you exposed your own men to DU?

U.S.C.: F…k you!! What do you know about my job? I did what I had to do to take out the targets I was given. If it was necessary to use DU, than I put it in my target analysis reports. I didn’t actually fire the rounds myself; I work in a remote office.

J.S.: So you’ll never have to worry about being exposed to DU huh? Very brave.

U.S.C.: (lot’s of profanity) this interview is over with (more profanity, followed by the phone slamming down)

U.S. TO USE DEPLETED URANIUM AGAIN

BBC – A United States defense official has said moves to ban depleted uranium ammunition are just an attempt by America’s enemies to blunt its military might. Colonel James Naughton of US Army Materiel Command said Iraqi complaints about depleted uranium shells had no medical basis. “They want it to go away because we kicked the crap out of them,” he told a Pentagon briefing.

If war starts, tons of depleted uranium weapons are likely to be used by British and American tanks and by ground attack aircraft. Some believe people are still suffering ill health from ammunition used in the Gulf War 12 years ago, and other conflicts. In the House of Commons in London on Monday, Labor MP Joan Ruddock said a test of the UK Government’s pledge to keep civilian casualties to a minimum in an attack on Iraq would include not using depleted uranium weapons.

Apparently anticipating complaints, the US defense department briefed journalists about DU – making it plain it would continue to be used. . .

Cancer surgeons in the southern Iraqi port of Basra report a marked increase in cancers which they suspect were caused by DU contamination from tank battles on the farmland to the west of the city. . . Depleted uranium is mildly radioactive but the main health concern is that it is a heavy metal, potentially poisonous. The likelihood of absorbing it is increased significantly if a weapon has struck a target and exploded because the DU vaporizes into a fine dust and can be inhaled. . .

A 1995 report from the US Army Environmental Policy Institute, for example, said: “If DU enters the body, it has the potential to generate significant medical consequences.”

 

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Japan Allows Residents To Return To Fukushima Disaster ‘Hot Zone’


fukushima radiation children

Toru Hanai/Reuters

A child is tested for radiation exposure.

 

For the first time since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster more than three years ago, residents of a small district 20 km (12 miles) from the wrecked plant are about to be allowed to return home. 

The Miyakoji area of Tamura, a northeastern city inland from the Fukushima nuclear station, has been off-limits for most residents since March 2011, when the government ordered evacuations after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the power plant.

Tuesday’s reopening of Miyakoji will mark a tiny step for Japan as it seeks to recover from the Fukushima disaster and a major milestone for the 357 registered residents of the district – most of whom the city hopes will go back.

But homesick evacuees have mixed feelings about returning to Miyakoji, set amid rolling hills and rice paddies, a sign of how difficult the path back to normality will be for those forced from their homes by the accident.

Many families with young children are torn over what to do, one city official acknowledged.

“Young people won’t return,” said Kitaro Saito, a man in his early 60s, who opposed lifting the ban and had no intention of going home yet.

“Relatives are arguing over what to do” and friends disagree, he said, warming his hands outside his temporary home among rows of other one-room trailers in a Tamura parking lot. “The town will be broken up.”

Saito said he wanted to go back to his large hillside house in Miyakoji, but thinks the government is using residents as “guinea pigs” to test whether larger returns are possible.

 

Read More Here

 

ZeroHedge

Japan Gives Residents All Clear To Return To Fukushima Disaster “Hot Zone”



As we reported last night, Japan’s economy may once again be relapsing into a slowing phase, perversely well in advance of the dreaded sales-tax hike which many expect will catalyze Japan’s collapse into another recession as happened the last time Japan had a tax hike, but that doesn’t mean its population should be prevented from enjoying the heavily energized local atmosphere buzzing with the hope and promise of imminent paper-based “wealth effects” for those long the daily penNikkeistock rollercoaster…. and just as buzzing with copious gamma rays of course. Which is why for the first time in over three years, since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, residents of a small district 20 km from the wrecked plant are about to be allowed to return home. Because if the honest Japanese government says it is safe, then so it must be.

But how is this possible?

Just recall, as we reported in December citing SCMP, that the incidence of Thyroid cancers had surged among Fukushima youths. It took the government a few days of contemplation before spinning this deplorable revelation as one which blamed not the coverup surrounding the Fukushima fallout, but – get this – the fact that children were getting sick because they were not going out enough!

Mindboggling as it may be, this is precisely the kind of ridiculous propaganda one would expect from a flailing authoritarian regime, with a crashing economy, and a demographic collapse with no credible options left except to goose the manipulated market higher… The kind of propaganda that is now being used to give the “all clear” to move back to Fukushima!

From Reuters:

The Miyakoji area of Tamura, a northeastern city inland from the Fukushima nuclear station, has been off-limits for most residents since March 2011, when the government ordered evacuations after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the power plant. Tuesday’s reopening of Miyakoji will mark a tiny step for Japan as it seeks to recover from the Fukushima disaster and a major milestone for the 357 registered residents of the district – most of whom the city hopes will go back.

Because children need to be outdoors, mingling with the high energy radiation, to avoid the dreaded consequences of being locked indoors of course. Still, not everyone is a complete idiot:

 

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Watch Full Movie  “The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler Here

Irena Sendler bátor szíve from Merenyi Zoltan on Vimeo.

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Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers premiered May 2011.
Check Local Listings to see when it’s airing on your local PBS station.

“I sit here as a testament to those people who were committed to saving a Jewish child’s life.”
— William Donat

Irena Sandler In the Name of Their Mothers is the story of a group of young Polish women, who outfoxed the Nazis during World War II and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children.

A Polish mother and child

Julien Bryan Collection, USHMM

A Polish mother and child in the aftermath of the bombing of Warsaw, 1939.

Irena Sendler, a petite social worker, was not yet thirty years old when Nazi tanks rolled into Warsaw in September of 1939. When the city’s Jews were imprisoned behind a ghetto wall without food or medicine, she appealed to her closest friends and colleagues, mostly young women, some barely out of their teens. Together, they smuggled aid in and smuggled Jewish orphans out of the ghetto by hiding infants on trams and garbage wagons and leading older children out through secret passageways and the city’s sewers. Catholic birth certificates and identity papers were forged and signed by priests and high ranking officials in the Social Services Department so that the children could be taken from safe houses in Warsaw to orphanages and convents in the surrounding countryside.

The scheme was fraught with danger. The city was crawling with ruthless blackmailers, and the Gestapo were constantly on the look out for Jews who had escaped from the ghetto. “You are not Rachel but Roma. You are not Isaac but Jacek. Repeat it ten times, a hundred, even a thousand times,” says Irena, who knew that any child on the street could be stopped and interrogated. If he was unable to recite a Catholic prayer he could be killed.

Magda Rusinek tells us how she taught the children “little prayers that every child knows in Polish. I would wake them up during the night to say the prayer,” says the Sendler collaborator who had joined the Polish Resistance as a teenager. “And then I had to teach them how to behave in a church, a Christian Church.”

“They treated me like their own child,” says Poitr Zettinger, recalling how the sisters would warn him when the Gestapo came to the convent. “They would tell me when I should hide so I’d run up to the attic. I’d hide in a cupboard there.” William Donat, a New York businessman, describes the conflicts inherent in the extraordinary situation. “I was baptized and I was converted and, became a very, very strong Catholic. I was praying every day for perhaps a little more food and for Jesus to forgive me for the terrible sin that I had been born a Jew.”

Sendler and her cohorts kept meticulous records of the children’s Jewish names so that they could be reunited with their parents after the war. Donat was one of the few whose parents survived.

Irena Sendler

2B Productions

Irena Sendler at age 95 in Warsaw.

In 1942, as conditions worsened and thousands of Jews were rounded up daily and sent to die at the Treblinka death camp, less than hour outside Warsaw, Sendler and her cohorts began to appeal to Jewish parents to let their children go. Sixty years later, Irena still has nightmares about the encounters. “Those scenes over whether to give a child away were heart-rending. Sometimes, they wouldn’t give me the child. Their first question was, ‘What guarantee is there that the child will live?’ I said, ‘None. I don’t even know if I will get out of the ghetto alive today.”

Read More Here

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cid:7C72E425DE734F7A97847D5101B557E3@KaysToy
Irena Sendler

Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
Warsaw , Poland
cid:A56EC79DAC004A2AAE23238FCE8CF515@KaysToy

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.

Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried.She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.

Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking which covered the kids/infants noises.

cid:824F64967BBF4313B3D68D76F0D90AD6@KaysToy

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi’s broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out, in a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

cid:199A7A16CC6B4D3FA61517DD9D43A6DE@KaysToy

In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.

Later another politician, Barack Obama, won for his work as a community organizer for ACORN.

In MEMORIAM – 65 YEARS LATER
I’m doing my small part by forwarding this message.
I hope you’ll consider doing the same. It is now more than 67 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.
This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, In memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

Published on Sep 22, 2013

The macabre culture of beheadings and body mutilations that the Syrian “revolution” has brought with it has rubbed off on little children, who seem to be simulating ‘rebel’ beheadings of their enemies while shouting Allahu Akbar (Allah is greater). This footage was taken recently in the town of Ras al-Ayn in Syria’s northeastern al-Hasakeh province.

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How the Ancient & Mostly Christian Town of Maaloula was Invaded by al-Qaeda & the FSA

Eretz Zen WarVids Eretz Zen WarVids

Published on Sep 21, 2013

This video shows excerpts from the planned attack on September 4, 2013 by the foreign-backed insurgents led by al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) and assisted mainly by John McCain’s “moderate rebels” from the ‘Revolutionaries of Bab Amr’ Brigade of the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) on the ancient and mostly Christian town of Maaloula, the only town in the world where Aramaic is still spoken by its inhabitants. The town retains a highly symbolic importance in Christendom not only due to “Jesus’s language” that is still spoken there but also due to its ancient Christian heritage and monasteries.

The invasion of the town was carried out by means of a suicide bomber with the alias of Abu Musaab, whose accent in Arabic indicates that he is most likely from Saudi Arabia, and who blew himself up at the checkpoint situated at the ancient town’s main gate. The rhetoric of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists, as seen from this footage, reveals how their Saudi Wahhabi doctrine ingrains in them a deep hatred of anything that does not conform to their strict and narrow-minded way of life.

The last portion of the video is a report from Russia Today (RT) showing the suffering of the citizens of Maaloula at the hands of these militants who think that they are advancing a divine cause by killing people.

Sources: Abu Jihad al-Hamwi, RT

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Syrian Christian village in crossfire as govt forces try to squeeze out Al Nusra rebels

Published time: September 07, 2013 14:57
Edited time: September 07, 2013 20:15

A Syrian rebel fires a heavy machine gun mounted on the back of a vehicle in Maaloula, a suburb of Damascus, in this image taken from a September 4, 2013 video footage obtained from a social media website (Social media website via Reuters TV)

Download video (28.47 MB)

Maria Finoshina @MFinoshina_RT

“Reinforcement” is 5 or 6 packed buses.Army officers say up to 300 rebels in Safir hotel + hundreds nearby pic.twitter.com/QBOYNuq4pK

Heavy fighting between rebels and regime forces continues in Syria’s predominately Christian village of Maaloula, which was earlier partially destroyed by Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels.

“There are clashes just inside the town in the western district between Popular Committees (militia) and rebel forces,” director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul Rahman, told AFP.

“There are also clashes between soldiers backed by militias and rebel fighters around the area of one of the entrances to Maaloula,” he said.

State television citing a military source reports several rebels have been killed and their weapons destroyed as the army targeted a hotel and surrounding positions on the outskirts of Maaloula, north of Damascus, where a group of rebels were stationed.

Maaloula – a mountain village of 2,000 residents, 60km northeast of Damascus – is home to some of the most ancient Orthodox Christian relics and is a major pilgrimage destination. It’s also one of the very few places in the world where people still speak Aramaic, a biblical-era language that Jesus is believed to have spoken.

An RT news crew traveled to the site, but was not allowed to enter the city for safety reasons.

“The militants, around 300 people, hide [sic] in Safir hotel, there are ancient caves there under the village – they use them as well. They watch us – and we watch them, but if we start moving – they’ll attack us. But unlikely before the sunset,” a Syrian army soldier told RT’s Maria Finoshina.

However, the opposition Syrian National Coalition said members of the Free Syrian Army had withdrawn from Maaloula earlier this week, after destroying army posts at Maaloula.

Read More Here

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McCain had secret meetings with Al Nusra and AlQaeda fighters

111JOCKS

Published on Jun 1, 2013

McCain had secret meetings with Al Nusra and AlQaeda fighters

…..

The New York Times

McCain Travels to Syria to Meet With Rebel Forces

WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who has called for the United States to intervene militarily in Syria, traveled to Syria on Monday to meet with rebel forces fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a spokesman for Mr. McCain. It was the first time that a United States senator had gone to Syria to meet with the rebels since the conflict there began two years ago.

Mr. McCain entered Syria from southern Turkey, according to his spokesman, Brian Rogers, who added that the senator had been in the region to attend the World Economic Forum meeting in Jordan over the weekend.

In 2011, Mr. McCain traveled to Libya to meet with rebel forces there while they were fighting Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and made similar calls for the United States to provide military aid to the rebels. The United States did ultimately provide military support, along with several European countries, and Colonel Qaddafi’s regime was toppled.

Read More Here

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McCain dismisses study that says Syria rebels are extremists

Senator John McCain (R- AZ.)

Senator John McCain (R- AZ.)
Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:4AM GMT
 

Charles Lister names the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as the most “extreme” groups of the insurgency in Syria which together command an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 fighters, scattered in at least 11 of Syria’s 14 governorates.

Senator John McCain (R- AZ.), a staunch advocate of US military strikes on Syria, dismisses as “not true” a study that asserts “extremists” increasingly make up the opposition in the Arab country.

The study, released this week by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s, found that the insurgency fighting against the Syrian government is now “dominated” by extremist groups.

Speaking to an audience at The Council on Foreign Relations, McCain stated, “Not true, not true!”

“There’s about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army,” said McCain who has previously met with militant leaders in Syria.

The Jane’s study found that only around 30 percent of insurgents are not extremists.

In an article published by the Foreign Policy magazine early in September, Charles Lister, the study’s author, gave his assessment of the militant groups in Syria.

“Groups on the more extreme end of the spectrum, particularly those affiliated with al Qaeda, have proven remarkably adept at spreading their military resources across large swathes of territory, joining battles at the pivotal moment, and exploiting their superior organizational structures to establish political control and influence over territory.”

Lister named the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as the most “extreme” groups of the insurgency in Syria which together command an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 fighters, scattered in at least 11 of Syria’s 14 governorates.

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Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels force Christian to convert at gunpoint: ‘He’s one of ours now’

By Jessica Chasmar

The Washington Times

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels who seized the ancient regime-held Christian town of Maalula last week forced at least one person to convert to Islam at gunpoint and executed another one after he refused, residents said Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported.

“They arrived in our town at dawn on Wednesday and shouted ‘We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders,’” an Islamist term for Christians, a woman, who identified herself as Marie, told AFP in Damascus.  Thousands headed to the capital Wednesday to attend the burial of three Christians from the village who have been killed.

“Maalula is the wound of Christ,” mourners chanted as they marched through the streets, AFP said.

Clashes first erupted on Wednesday, when an al-Nusra fighter blew himself up at a regime checkpoint at the entrance to the village. The rebels eventually seized the checkpoint and disabled two tanks, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

On Tuesday night, “the Free Syrian Army said rebels had withdrawn from Maalula to spare its people and heritage, but only on the condition that the regime kept its forces out as well,” AFP reported.

Recalling the events from last Wednesday, 62-year-old Adnan Nasrallah said he saw “people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses.”

Read More Here

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Japan Should Step Out Of The Race For The Olympics: Radioactive Tokyo

rumorecurioso rumorecurioso

Published on Sep 4, 2013

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/

Arnie Gundersen/Fairewinds Energy Education:
http://www.fairewinds.com/
http://fairewinds.org/
http://www.youtube.com/user/fairewind…
in Japanese: http://www.fairewinds.com/ja
Maggie Gundersen http://tinyurl.com/ms8ufgp

TOKYO OLYMPIC BID FACES FUKUSHIMA CONCERN

Members of Tokyo’s Olympic bid committee have been questioned by journalists about contaminated water leaking from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The host city for the 2020 games will be chosen on Saturday in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

The Japanese committee members held a news conference in the city on Wednesday that was attended by about 100 journalists from more than 20 media outlets.

Bid committee president Tsunekazu Takeda said at the beginning that he hopes to spread the value of sports among young people by hosting an Olympics in Asia, home to more than 1 billion people.

4 out of the 6 questions asked were about the safety of Tokyo, in light of the radioactive water leak at the Fukushima plant.

Takeda responded saying Tokyo is safe in terms of radiation levels.

A British journalist said Tokyo officials only emphasize the city’s safety but had still not answered the question. The reporter called it a grave problem that should be taken more seriously.

An American journalist expressed dissatisfaction with the answer and said the question will be asked repeatedly.

A reporter from an Argentine TV station said the Tokyo officials had answered the question sufficiently by saying the city is safe.

Sep. 5, 2013 – Updated 00:50 UTC*****************************************************

Shocking Tokyo Japan Radiation Test by Dr. Chris Busby (Fukushima Fallout)
http://youtu.be/p9pk42kdL4k
Published on Jul 25, 2012
Dr Chris Busby: radioactivity in apartment in central Tokyo Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3YMa3
In this and Part 2
http://youtu.be/oeS5dRkyBi0
Dr Busby describes measurements made on an air conditing unit filter from inside an apartment in central Tokyo. This was sent by a lady in Tokyo who wanted to know if it was safe to live there. The filter only collected air from inside the apartment. It shows the presence of 130000Bq/kg radio Caesium in the dust plus enriched Uranium and for the first time Lead-210/Polonium-210. The apartment was evacuated from the Tuesday after the catastrophe and the machine switched off; and the family returned 5 months later. This and much other information about the health effects and cover ups, including leaked data are to be found in Dr Busby’s new book in Japanese: the Horror of Fukushima, published on 25th July by Kodansha in Tokyo
http://youtu.be/AOobTcwzElw

URGENT info Japan Fukushima Radiation & What is being done.
http://youtu.be/_fiWE9_SvT8

Fukushima Solves Overpopulation Problem for NWO 9/15/11
http://youtu.be/eo9z9kyxYOA

Fukushima a Warning to the World
http://youtu.be/gyx8uaQG6Xg

Fukushima JP update 1/22/12 (MORE☢ Fail, if you can believe THAT!)
http://youtu.be/CNWD6zZt_7M

Life is too expensive to save in Japan by Arnie Gundersen 9/20/11
http://youtu.be/fzt3jQUYTCo

Fukushima to Evaporate RADIOACTIVE Water! 8/8/11
http://youtu.be/iu9jXfy0Cb4

Fukushima Update for today 9/30/11
http://youtu.be/aNumFDIQCAM

Fukushima Auschwitz update for today 9/16/11
http://youtu.be/bhn0E3Cescc

☢ Low-Dose Radiation ☢ DOE Study
http://youtu.be/oe2fMMaVE7Q

Fukushima Japan TOTALLY OUT of CONTROL!!!
http://youtu.be/sET4fqowKIg

Fukushima solves radioactive beef problem by BURNING it 7/21/11
http://youtu.be/LXE4BJ3StEw

Fukushima Tepco Hires New President (note his history) Update 5/8/12
http://youtu.be/H4hSx9P42V0

Tepco: Nationalized & Compensation & ReStart Nuke Plant AND Raise Rates Fukushima update 5/9/12
http://youtu.be/zg7EcQOJB8s

Fukushima Nuclear disaster report update for 11/15/11
http://youtu.be/rHe0DSrgy3c

Fukushima Trouble: Japan Hosts “Nuclear Safety” Meeting update 11/24/12
http://youtu.be/ejFMI4P2xRg

Fukushima Nuclear Fallout with Arnie Gundersen & Marko Kaltofen (WTF)?
http://youtu.be/vCOScslesz0

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Wall Street Journal

Tokyo Chosen to Host 2020 Summer Olympics

,and

[image]

Reuters

People celebrate after hearing that Tokyo had been chosen to host the 2020 Olympic Games during a public viewing event in Tokyo on Saturday.

BUENOS AIRES — Choosing safety and security in a time of uncertainty, the International Olympic Committee voted to bring the 2020 Summer Games to Tokyo.

Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics

AP

While traffic hurries along a wide road underneath, a new freeway is shown against a background of modern buildings in Tokyo, February 26, 1964. Japan is building fast; climbing industrially; living better than ever before and enjoying more leisure. But while the ruling class drives for more markets and money, ordinary Japanese talk of the need for disarmament and peace. (AP Photo)

The Finalist Cities

The International Olympic Committee chose Tokyo as the host city for the 2020 Summer Games. Madrid and Istanbul were the two other final contenders.

The International Olympic Committee announces who will host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Watch the announcement and reactions from Tokyo.

Related Reading

Tokyo carried the day over rivals Istanbul and Madrid by persuading the committee it could best guarantee a successful Olympics. The vote will bring the Olympics back to Tokyo for the first time since 1964, when the Games helped Japan reintroduce itself to the world less than two decades after the end of World War II.

The decision means that the Far East will become the center of the Olympic movement toward the end of this decade. The 2018 Winter Games are scheduled for Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“In these uncertain times, we must make this a Games that can be delivered,” said a triumphant Masato Mizuno, chief executive of the Tokyo2020 bid.

Tokyo nearly won on the first ballot, garnering 42 of 94 votes, falling just six short of the majority needed for victory. In that ballot, Madrid and Istanbul tied at 26 votes, with Istanbul prevailing in a runoff, 49-45. On the second ballot, Tokyo thumped Istanbul 60-36.

After the vote, IOC members filed out of the hall at the Hilton Hotel complex to explain that the committee had made a smart and safe choice rather than taking a risk.

“The certainty was the critical factor,” said Craig Reddie, chairman of the IOC’s evaluation commission, who credited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with addressing directly in his presentation continuing problems at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, more than two years after a tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns there. “The prime minister dealt with the one big issue.” Mr. Reddie added that concerns over the Spanish economy hurt Madrid’s bid. “I suspect the economy was a big factor.”

As he walked out of the hall, Mr. Abe said, “I am very happy to share all of these emotions with the Japanese people.”

Members said the final vote came down to a choice between a largely secure region and one of the safest big cities in the world and the capital of a country that shares a border with Syria and was simply too close to the turmoil in the Middle East.

“There were conversations about it,” said James Tomkins, an IOC member from Australia and a former Olympic rower.

Hasan Arat, chairman of Istanbul’s bid, compared the outcome to sport. “This is competition, and you have to respect the results.” He declined to speculate on whether political turmoil in his region had harmed the bid.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to the Turkish press accompanying him in Buenos Aires, said his country respected the decision of the committee. “My only regret is that the Games were given to a country which has already organized the Olympic Games. Istanbul would have been a different kind of a city, a city which brings together many cultures and civilizations and connects Asia with Europe.” Mr. Erdogan said Turkey may apply again in the future.

Read More Here

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South Korea bans fish imports from Japan’s Fukushima region

Seoul blames ‘scientifically unacceptable’ information from Tepco over radiation levels in waters around nuclear plant

A fish market in Seoul

A fish market in Seoul: South Korea has banned imports from Japan’s north-east coast amid fears over radioactive water levels. Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/AP

South Korea has banned all fish imports from a large area of Japan in response to growing concern over the possible environmental impact of recent leaks of highly toxic water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

In Japan, the row over the plant operator’s handling of the leaks deepened on Friday when the head of the country’s nuclear watchdog issued a stern rebuke to Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) for causing unnecessary alarm overseas by releasing “scientifically unacceptable” information about radiation levels.

Seoul’s decision came as Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, prepared to make a final pitch for Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

Tokyo is the bookmakers’ favourite but international concern over contamination at Fukushima Daiichi is fuelling speculation that the Japanese capital could lose out to Madrid or Istanbul. The International Olympic Committee will name the host city at a meeting in Buenos Aires on Saturday evening.

South Korea said it had imposed a total ban on fish from Fukushima and seven other prefectures in response to growing public fears over the safety of produce from the region. The fisheries vice-minister, Son Jae-hak, told reporters that the ban would stay in place indefinitely, adding that Japanese authorities had failed to provide timely and detailed information about the water leaks.

South Korea imported 5,000 tonnes of fish from the affected region last year, including stocks from Aomori in the far north, to Chiba, located east of Tokyo.

Despite assurances by Japan that it rigorously tests food for radiation, China has also maintained a ban on dairy, vegetable and seafood imports from several prefectures, including Fukushima, since March 2011.

“We have provided the South Korean government with relevant information since the contaminated water leaks,” the chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said . “We will continue to ask South Korea to take measures based on scientific facts.”

In a statement carried by the Yonhap news agency, South Korea’s fisheries ministry said the ban had been necessary “as the government concluded that it is unclear how the incident in Japan will progress in the future and that the information the Japanese government has provided so far is not enough to predict future developments”.

The impact from the recent water leaks was being felt as far away as Buenos Aires, where Japanese officials were besieged by questions about Fukushima ahead of the IOC’s decisive vote.

Hiroshi Hase, an MP and former Olympic wrestler, told reporters in the Argentinian capital that contamination from Fukushima was “not even an issue” for the health of people in Tokyo, located 150 miles south of Fukushima Daiichi.

Read More Here

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The Telegraph

British diplomats shrug off nuclear fears with Fukushima cricket match

For most cricketers, a green pitch might conjure worries of a sticky wicket. But for one British Embassy team, the phrase may have taken on a different meaning as they played a match near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

Fukushima cricket match

The two teams, plus the ambassador and the mayor, before the match Photo: JULIAN RYALL

Shrugging off recent reports of soaring radiation levels at the earthquake-hit plant, a team from the British Embassy in Tokyo played a cricket match on Saturday on the edge of the exclusion zone.

British Ambassador Tim Hitchens gives some tips to Katsunobu Sakurai, the mayor of Minamisoma

The British Ambassador gives some tips to the mayor of Minamisoma

The match was played on a baseball pitch on the town of Minamisoma, part of which falls within the 17-mile no-go zone around the crippled plant, against an international team drawn from players across the Tohoku region.

“The reason we wanted to come is because the people in places like this are being forgotten,” said Tim Hitchens, the British ambassador. “Obviously there is a question of safety, but the British government has from the start been led by the science in its response to the situation at Fukushima.

“The place where we have played today is perfectly safe,” he added. “I come from Devon and there is a lot of granite that has greater background radiation levels then there are here.”

Tests carried out on the grass pitch before the game showed that the radiation level was 0.6 microsieverts per hour, similar to naturally occurring radiation in places such as Aberdeen and Cornwall.

Read More Here

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Iraqis inspect the aftermath of a car bomb attack, in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July. 29, 2013. A wave of over a dozen car bombings hit central and southern Iraq during morning rush hour on Monday, officials said, killing scores in the latest coordinated attack by insurgents determined to undermine the government. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda claimed responsibility Friday for bombings earlier this week that killed at least 82 people, mostly in Shiite areas of the capital, calling them retaliation for the execution of Sunni prisoners by the Shiite-led government.

Wednesday’s attacks involved car bombs and other explosives that mainly targeted parking lots, outdoor markets and restaurants in Shiite districts in Baghdad during the morning rush hour. Some Sunni areas were also hit later in the day.

A statement posted on a militant website by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, took responsibility for the deadly attacks. The group claimed the attacks were a response to the Aug. 19 execution of 17 Sunni prisoners, all but one of them convicted on terrorism-related charges.

The authenticity of the statement could not be independently confirmed. It was posted on a website commonly used by jihadists and its style was consistent with earlier al-Qaeda statements.

It said tight security measures imposed by Iraqi forces failed to stop the attacks, and the group vowed to carry out more attacks against government targets.

“We will avenge the blood of our brothers,” the group said.

The bombings were the latest in a wave of bloodshed that has swept Iraq since April, killing more than 4,000 people and worsening already strained ties between Iraq’s Sunni minority and the Shiite-led government. More than 570 people have been killed so far in August.

Read More Here

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Iraq Bombings, House Raid Kill at Least 80 People

Car bomb blasts and other explosions tore through mainly Shiite districts around Baghdad during morning rush hour Wednesday in a day of violence that killed at least 80, intensifying worries about Iraq’s ability to tame the spiraling mayhem gripping the country.

It was the latest set of large-scale sectarian attacks to hit Iraq, even as the government went on “high alert” in case a possible Western strike in neighboring Syria increases Iraq’s turmoil.

A relentless wave of killing has left thousands dead since April in the country’s worst spate of bloodshed since 2008. The surge in violence raises fears that Iraq is hurtling back toward the widespread sectarian killing that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when the country was teetering on the edge of civil war.

Most of Wednesday’s attacks happened in within minutes of each other as people headed to work or were out shopping early in the day. Insurgents unleashed explosives-laden cars, suicide bombers and other bombs that targeted parking lots, outdoor markets and restaurants in predominantly Shiite areas in and around Baghdad, officials said. A military convoy was hit south of the capital.

Security forces sealed off the blast scenes as ambulances raced to pick up the wounded. The twisted wreckage of cars littered the pavement while cleaners and shop owners brushed away debris. At one restaurant, the floor was stained with blood and dishes were scattered on plastic tables.

“What sin have those innocent people committed?” asked Ahmed Jassim, who witnessed one of the explosions in Baghdad’s Hurriyah neighborhood. “We hold the government responsible.”

The northern neighborhood of Kazimiyah, home to a prominent Shiite shrine, was among the worst hit. Two bombs went off in a parking lot, followed by a suicide car bomber who struck onlookers who had gathered at the scene. Police said the attack killed 10 people and wounded 27.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida, which operates in Iraq under the name the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The group frequently targets Shiites, which it considers heretics, and carries out coordinated bombings in an attempt to incite sectarian strife.

Read More Here

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Syria gas ‘kills hundreds,’ Security Council meets

Wed, Aug 21 2013

Girls who survived from what activists say is a gas attack rest inside a mosque in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus August 21, 2013. REUTERS-Mohamed Abdullah

A man, affected by what activists say is nerve gas, breathes through an oxygen mask in Damascus suburbs August 21, 2013 in this picture provided by Shaam News Network. REUTERS-Fadi al-Dirani-Shaam News Network-Handout via Reuters
Survivors from what activists say is a gas attack rest inside a mosque in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus August 21, 2013. REUTERS-Bassam Khabieh

BEIRUT/AMMAN | Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:53am BST

(Reuters) – Syria‘s opposition accused government forces of gassing hundreds of people on Wednesday by firing rockets that released deadly fumes over rebel-held Damascus suburbs, killing men, women and children as they slept.

With the death toll estimated between 500 and 1,300, what would be the world’s most lethal chemical weapons attack since the 1980s prompted an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council in New York.

The council did not explicitly demand a U.N. investigation of the incident, although it said “clarity” was needed and welcomed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon’s calls for a prompt investigation by the U.N. inspection team in Syria, led by Ake Sellstrom.

An earlier Western-drafted statement submitted to the council, seen by Reuters, was not approved. The final version of the statement was watered down to accommodate objections from Russia and China, diplomats said. Moscow and Beijing have vetoed previous Western efforts to impose U.N. penalties on Assad.

Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said the allegations were “illogical and fabricated”. President Bashar al-Assad’s officials have said they would never use poison gas against Syrians. The United States and European allies believe Assad’s forces have used small amounts of sarin before, hence the current U.N. visit.

Immediate international action is likely to be limited, with the divisions among major powers that have crippled efforts to quell 2 1/2 years of civil war still much in evidence.

Russia backed up Syrian government denials by saying it looked like a rebel “provocation” to discredit Assad.

Britain voiced the opposite view: “I hope this will wake up some who have supported the Assad regime to realise its murderous and barbaric nature,” Foreign Secretary William Hague said on a visit to Paris.

Read More Here

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Syria: UN Security Council wants ‘clarity’ over alleged chemical attack

The UN Security Council has said it was necessary to clarify an alleged chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on Wednesday but stopped short of explicitly demanding a UN investigation after opposition from Russia and China.

“There is a strong concern among council members about the allegations and a general sense that there must be clarity on what happened and the situation must be followed closely,” Argentina’s UN ambassador, Maria Cristina Perceval, told reporters after a closed-door emergency meeting of the council.

While the council did not explicitly call for a UN investigation, it welcomed UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s calls for one.

“The members of the Security Council also welcomed the determination of the Secretary-General to ensure a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation,” said Perceval, who is president of the council this month.

Syria’s opposition accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of gassing many hundreds of people – by one report as many as 1,300 – in a pre-dawn attack on Wednesday. Mr Assad’s government denied using chemical weapons.

Read More  Here

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Russia, China torpedo strong UN statement on Syria

Draft proposed by US, UK and France called on Syria to allow inspectors access to alleged attack in Damascus suburbs

August 22, 2013, 2:26 am Updated: August 22, 2013, 4:13 am
The chamber of the UN Security Council in New York City (photo credit: CC BY-SA Gruban/Flickr/File)

The chamber of the UN Security Council in New York City (photo credit: CC BY-SA Gruban/Flickr/File)

UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council called Wednesday for “a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation” of the latest allegation of chemical weapons use in Syria.

The council backed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s determination to ensure a “thorough investigation” of the alleged attack on the eastern suburbs of Damascus that killed at least 100 people.

UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said earlier that the secretary-general was “shocked” at Wednesday’s alleged use of chemical weapons and wants all reported incidents investigated.

During a two-hour closed-door meeting, diplomats said Russia and China, which support the Syrian government, blocked a stronger press statement supported by Britain, France, the United States and others.

But Russia and China agreed that the council president could sum up the session with “press elements” — close to the weakest response from the UN’s most powerful body, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.

The proposed stronger statement, according to reports, would have called on Syria to allow UN inspectors to look into Wednesday’s alleged attack.

A Russian official called the alleged attack a “planned provocation on the part of the Syrian opposition.”

Argentina’s UN Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval, the current council president, told reporters that there was “strong concern” about the latest allegations of alleged chemical weapons use “and a general sense that there must be clarity on what happened.”

Syrian anti-government activists accused President Bashar Assad’s regime of carrying out a toxic gas attack that killed at least 100 people, including many children as they slept. The government denied using chemical weapons.

Perceval said council members “welcomed the determination of the secretary-general to ensure a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation.”

“All council members agreed that any use of chemical weapons by any side under any circumstances is a violation of international law,” she said. “There was also an agreement for a strong call for a cessation of hostilities and a cease-fire … (and) the need for immediate humanitarian assistance to the victims.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that if reports of the chemical attack are true, it is a “horrific crime.” She rejected, however, the idea that the EU should speed up military aid to the Syrian rebels.

Read More Here

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Tribunal Dismisses Prosecution’s Application to Recuse Judge Eric David.

ISRAELPAELSTINE

 KUALA LUMPUR, 21 August 2013 – The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, which commenced today to hear war crimes and genocide charges against the State of Israel and Amos Yaron, a retired Israeli army general hit a snag.

To begin with, the Prosecution made an application that, to preserve the sanctity of the tribunal, Judge Eric David be recused for his alleged possible connection with the Mossad, the intelligence agency of Israel.

There have been allegations including from US officials that the Peoples Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) is supported by Mossad. The PMOI is listed as a terrorist organisation that has carried out terrorist activities against Iran. According to the prosecution, Judge Eric David had written a legal opinion that the PMOI be removed from the list of terrorist organisations.

Amicus curiae Jason Kay appointed under Article 15 of the Charter, raised the point that the allegations were not supported by clear evidence. And that perceived bias does not amount to actual bias. The Prosecution further argued that there must not even be any perceived bias on the part of any judge of the tribunal in deciding a case.

The Tribunal adjourned the hearing to deliberate further and later returned dismissing the prosecution’s application to recuse Judge Eric David, as they felt there was no threat of real bias. However, the prosecution disagreed and the hearing was adjourned once again.

When the hearing resumed, the President of the Tribunal, Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin, expressed the panel’s disquiet of the breakdown of the forum stressing that once an objection had been overruled, it should be accepted and respected. He instructed the registrar to expunge all the allegations levelled against Judge Eric David from the records.

In their response, the prosecution accepted the panel’s decision but conveyed the serious concerns of the witnesses who had come all the way from Palestine to have their day in court. The witnesses, through the Chief Prosecutor Prof Gurdial S Nijar made known their three points of concerns to the panel of judges.

One, the fact, that, they have come to the Tribunal seeking justice after literally years of being unheard. They have come for justice and are prepared for any decision but in the present situation, they are not comfortable to appear before a judge that may be biased. They want the process of obtaining justice untainted in any way. Otherwise, in their view, it would be worthless. Secondly, they fear for their personal security in having come all the way to Kuala Lumpur to testify and thirdly, it is a matter of principle to them and if they lack confidence in the panel of judges, they would essentially be insecure and thus unable to tend evidence. As such, the Prosecution recommended that the hearing be adjourned Sine Die (indefinitely).

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Fukushima apocalypse: Years of ‘duct tape fixes’ could result in ‘millions of deaths’

Published time: August 17, 2013 13:15
Edited time: August 18, 2013 13:41

Damaged Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) number 1 daiichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

Damaged Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) number 1 daiichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

Fukushima operator TEPCO wants to extract 400 tons worth of spent fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s damaged Reactor No. 4. The removal would have to be done manually from the top store of the damaged building in the radiation-contaminated environment.

In the worst-case scenario, a mishandled rod may go critical, resulting in an above-ground meltdown releasing radioactive fallout with no way to stop it, said Consolo, who is the founder and host of Nuked Radio. But leaving the things as they are is not an option, because statistical risk of a similarly bad outcome increases every day, she said.

RT: How serious is the fuel rod situation compared to the danger of contaminated water build-up which we already know about?

Christina Consolo: Although fuel rod removal happens on a daily basis at the 430+ nuclear sites around the world, it is a very delicate procedure even under the best of circumstances. What makes fuel removal at Fukushima so dangerous and complex is that it will be attempted on a fuel pool whose integrity has been severely compromised. However, it must be attempted as Reactor 4 has the most significant problems structurally, and this pool is on the top floor of the building.

There are numerous other reasons that this will be a dangerous undertaking.

- The racks inside the pool that contain this fuel were damaged by the explosion in the early days of the accident. 

- Zirconium cladding which encased the rods burned when water levels dropped, but to what extent the rods have been damaged is not known, and probably won’t be until removal is attempted. 

- Saltwater cooling has caused corrosion of the pool walls, and probably the fuel rods and racks. 

- The building is sinking. 

- The cranes that normally lift the fuel were destroyed. 

- Computer-guided removal will not be possible; everything will have to be done manually. 

- TEPCO cannot attempt this process without humans, which will manage this enormous task while being bombarded with radiation during the extraction and casking. 

- The process of removing each rod will have to be repeated over 1,300 times without incident. 

- Moving damaged nuclear fuel under such complex conditions could result in a criticality if the rods come into close proximity to one another, which would then set off a chain reaction that cannot be stopped.

What could potentially happen is the contents of the pool could burn and/or explode, and the entire structure sustain further damage or collapse. This chain reaction process could be self-sustaining and go on for a long time. This is the apocalyptic scenario in a nutshell.

The water build-up is an extraordinarily difficult problem in and of itself, and as anyone with a leaky basement knows, water always ‘finds a way.’

‘Trivial in light of other problems at Fukushima, water situation could culminate in the chain reaction scenario’

At Fukushima, they are dealing with massive amounts of groundwater that flow through the property, and the endless pouring that must be kept up 24/7/365 to keep things from getting worse. Recently there appears to be subsidence issues and liquefaction under the plant.

TEPCO has decided to pump the water out of these buildings. However, pumping water out of the buildings is only going to increase the flow rate and create more of these ground issues around the reactors. An enormous undertaking – but one that needs to be considered for long-term preservation of the integrity of the site – is channelling the water away, like a drain tile installed around the perimeter of a house with a leaky basement, but on an epic scale.

Without this effort, the soils will further deteriorate, structural shift will occur, and subsequently the contents of the pools will shift too.

The damage to TEPCO's No.1 Fukushima nuclear power plant's third reactor building in the town of Okuma, Fubata district in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

The damage to TEPCO’s No.1 Fukushima nuclear power plant’s third reactor building in the town of Okuma, Fubata district in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

Any water that flows into those buildings also becomes highly radioactive, as it is likely coming into contact with melted fuel.

Without knowing the extent of the current liquefaction and its location, the location of the melted fuel, how long TEPCO has been pumping out water, or when the next earthquake will hit, it is impossible to predict how soon this could occur from the water problem/subsidence issue alone. But undoubtedly, pumping water out of the buildings is just encouraging the flow, and this water problem needs to be remedied and redirected as soon as possible.

RT: Given all the complications that could arise with extracting the fuel rods, which are the most serious, in your opinion?

CC: The most serious complication would be anything that leads to a nuclear chain reaction. And as outlined above, there are many different ways this could occur. In a fuel pool containing damaged rods and racks, it could potentially start up on its own at anytime. TEPCO has been incredibly lucky that this hasn’t happened so far.

‘One of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do’

My second biggest concern would be the physical and mental fitness of the workers that will be in such close proximity to exposed fuel during this extraction process. They will be the ones guiding this operation, and will need to be in the highest state of alertness to have any chance at all of executing this plan manually and successfully. Many of their senses, most importantly eyesight, will be hindered by the apparatus that will need to be worn during their exposure, to prevent immediate death from lifting compromised fuel rods out of the pool and placing them in casks, or in the common spent fuel pool located a short distance away.

Think for a moment what that might be like through the eyes of one of these workers; it will be hot, uncomfortable, your senses shielded, and you would be filled with anxiety. You are standing on a building that is close to collapse. Even with the strongest protection possible, workers will have to be removed and replaced often. So you don’t have the benefit of doing such a critical task and knowing and trusting your comrades, as they will frequently have to be replaced when their radiation dose limits are reached. If they exhibit physical or mental signs of radiation exposure, they will have be replaced more often.

The stricken Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima daiichi No.1 nuclear power plant reactor number three (L) and four (R), with smoke rising from number three at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

The stricken Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima daiichi No.1 nuclear power plant reactor number three (L) and four (R), with smoke rising from number three at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

It will be one of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do. And even if executed flawlessly, there are still many things that could go wrong.

RT: How do the potential consequences of failure to ensure safe extraction compare to other disasters of the sort – like Chernobyl, or the 2011 Fukushima meltdown?

CC: There really is no comparison. This will be an incredibly risky operation, in the presence of an enormous amount of nuclear material in close proximity. And as we have seen in the past, one seemingly innocuous failure at the site often translates into a series of cascading failures.

‘The site has been propped up with duct tape and a kick-stand for over two years’

Many of their ‘fixes’ are only temporary, as there are so many issues to address, and cost always seems to be an enormous factor in what gets implemented and what doesn’t.

As a comparison: Chernobyl was one reactor, in a rural area, a quarter of the size of one of the reactors at Fukushima. There was no ‘spent fuel pool’ to worry about. Chernobyl was treated in-situ…meaning everything was pretty much left where it was while the effort to contain it was made (and very expeditiously I might add) not only above ground, but below ground.

At Fukushima, we have six top-floor pools all loaded with fuel that eventually will have to be removed, the most important being Reactor 4, although Reactor 3 is in pretty bad shape too. Spent fuel pools were never intended for long-term storage, they were only to assist short-term movement of fuel. Using them as a long-term storage pool is a huge mistake that has become an ‘acceptable’ practice and repeated at every reactor site worldwide.

A destroyed building of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) atomic power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

A destroyed building of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) atomic power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

We have three 100-ton melted fuel blobs underground, but where exactly they are located, no one knows. Whatever ‘barriers’ TEPCO has put in place so far have failed. Efforts to decontaminate radioactive water have failed. Robots have failed. Camera equipment and temperature gauges…failed. Decontamination of surrounding cities has failed.

‘If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people’

We have endless releases into the Pacific Ocean that will be ongoing for not only our lifetimes, but our children’s’ lifetimes. We have 40 million people living in the Tokyo area nearby. We have continued releases from the underground corium that reminds us it is there occasionally with steam events and huge increases in radiation levels. Across the Pacific, we have at least two peer-reviewed scientific studies so far that have already provided evidence of increased mortality in North America, and thyroid problems in infants on the west coast states from our initial exposures.

We have increasing contamination of the food chain, through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. And a newly stated concern is the proximity of melted fuel in relation to the Tokyo aquifer that extends under the plant. If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people from the greater metropolitan area. As impossible as this sounds, you cannot live in an area which does not have access to safe water.

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